Jewish singer, Matisyahu, who has risen to fame for his unique blend of traditional Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip hop, is set to make his Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival debut.
Born Matthew Paul Miller, the singer who stands out for wearing the traditional clothing of Hasidic Jews, is set to help open the event on January 22 with some of his favorites including hits like "King Without A Crown."
Matisyahu was named Top Reggae Artist of 2006 by Billboard and a spokesperson for Kenneth Cole. He is slated to release a new album in early 2009.
Matisyahu will join London song bird Estelle, Robin Thicke and Los Van Van at the Thursday, January 22nd performance. Thicke is an award-winning multiplatinum superstar who recently released Something Else, a joyful and modern tribute to the ‘70s soul and pop records that have inspired an extraordinary career.
Estelle, formerly as Est'elle, is a British Grammy Award-nominated hip hop/R&B singer, rapper, and producer. She is best known for her hit single "American Boy," which topped the U.K. charts for four weeks in March 2008 and went on to win numerous awards.
Los Van Van is a Cuban band led by bassist Juan Formell, and is considered to be one of Cuba's major timba acts, while Juan Formell has arguably become the most important figure in contemporary Cuban music.
On Friday night, January 23rd, Jamaica’s Rose Hall development in Montego Bay will come alive with multi-platinum Grammy award-winning singer, Lionel Richie, who will grace the stage along with Lou Gramm of Foreigner fame, Randy Crawford and Joe Sample, Alton Reeds Blues Entourage and young Canadian sensation, 13-year-old Nikki Yanofsky.
Saturday, Jan. 24th rocks with Chicago, Maxi Priest, Atlantic Starr and the O`Jays, all of whom need no introduction.
Jazz fest officials say bargain hunting music lovers looking to enjoy the warmth of Jamaica and the sweet sounds of the 2009 Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival can get great all inclusive-deals for as low as $999 in some instances. Fans are urged to call Air Jamaica or their favorite travel agent.
Tickets to the nightly festival this year are $US80 or a three-day pass can be obtained for $ $155. A season pass is $235 and can be purchased on the Jazz Fest website. Log on directly to jamaicajazzandblues.com to buy tickets.
The 2009 festival is being presented this year by the Jamaica Tourist Board, which is the new title sponsor.
The festival, which since its introduction in 1996 was known as the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, has attracted thousands of patrons from the USA, Europe, the Caribbean and Jamaica. International artistes that have performed at the festival include Alicia Keys, Kenny Rogers, Norah Jones, Julio Iglesias, Roberta Flack, Lou Rawls, Dionne Warwick, India Arie, Nancy Wilson, Earth Wind and Fire, Kenny G., Michael McDonald, Gladys Knight, Kool & the Gang, Al Jarreau, Branford Marsalis, Brian McKnight Harry Belafonte, Babyface, Stephanie Mills, George Benson, Erykah Badu, Gladys Knight, Michael Bolton, and many more. And to bring the Jamaican flavor, well-known names such as Ziggy Marley, Morgan Heritage, Third World, Toots Hibbert, Shaggy, Sean Paul Maxi Priest, Beres Hammond, Monty Alexander, Ritchie Stephens and many other Jamaican talents have made their mark on the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues stage.
This year the festival is being presented by key title sponsor, the Jamaica Tourist Board along with Rose Hall Developments, Jamrock Magazine, Half Moon, The Jamaica Observer, Holiday Inn Sun Spree, The Ritz Carlton Golf & Spa Resort in Rose Hall, Courts Jamaica, CaribPR, Sky Writings Magazine and CMS Media.